PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In the wake of new federal guidance on the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, Brown President Christina H. Paxson wrote to students, faculty and staff about the University’s opposition to the policy and how Brown can best support its international students.
Issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 6, the new guidance will prohibit international students from returning to or remaining in the United States if their colleges adopt online-only instruction for Fall 2020 or if students choose online-only instruction.
“This new temporary rule is nothing short of cruel,” Paxson said. “It comes at a time when every student, regardless of their country of origin, should benefit from the maximum level of flexibility to pursue their studies in a manner that they or their institutions decide has the highest capacity to support their health and safety.”
Brown is planning for a 2020-21 academic year that integrates both on-campus and remote instruction, should health and safety conditions allow. Under that approach, international students at Brown will be able to register for at least one in-person class, making it possible for them to remain in the country.
Paxson said that would not be the case, however, in the event of a major resurgence of the virus in New England that forces the University to shift to fully online instruction.
“In the coming weeks, assuming that the DHS rule remains in effect, we will work with faculty to develop plans to minimize the chance that any of our international students — undergraduate, graduate or medical — are forced to leave the country,” she said.